PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The civil re-trial for three Pittsburgh Police officers accused of using excessive force against a former CAPA student continued Thursday.
This morning, Jordan Miles took the stand to testify about the incident that left him battered and bruised.
Miles was en route to his grandmother’s house, when he was approached by the three officers.
When asked what items he was carrying that night, Miles said, “I had my wallet, iPod, keys, cell phone, No. 2 pencil.”
Earlier in the trial, Michael Saldutte said he felt an object in Miles’ pocket during the struggle and he thought it was a gun.
He said it turned out to be a bottle of Mountain Dew.
Miles denied having a Mountain Dew bottle on him that night and said he does not drink it because it’s too sweet for him.
Miles also continued to insist on the stand that the three undercover cops never identified themselves as police officers when they confronted him in January of 2010.
He testified that when the three men approached him, they merely said, “Where’s your gun, money and drugs?” He says he then “fell on some ice.”
That’s when Miles claims the officers “beat him in the head while he was face down in the snow.” He says he “watched the blood flow profusely from my head.”
In dramatic testimony, Miles said he “thought I was going to be put inside the car, taken away and murdered somewhere.”
“I began to pray. One man said shut up and choked me until I couldn’t breathe and pushed my head into the snow,” Miles said on the stand.
“He told the truth this time as he has always told the truth,” said Joel Sansone, Miles’ attorney.
The defense claims Miles was targeted because he was a young African American man in a high crime area.
“They said, ‘Give us your drugs, your guns and your money.’ Just like he was some dreadlocked, totin’, drug dealer,” said Sansone. “And then they set upon him and beat him.”
Later on Thursday, Miles underwent an often angry cross-examination.
He was grilled about inconsistencies in his statements. Was he wearing tennis shoes or Timberland boots? Was he attacked on the sidewalk or in the bushes? And did police really not identify themselves?
“We find it incredible to listen to his story that he thinks there are three white males driving around Homewood at 11 o’clock at night, looking to mug or rob anybody,” said Bryan Campbell, the police attorney.